Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Quilt Angels - a Video Thank You

The video has finally been edited and is available to view.  This is the program director talking about the Ogden House program AND thanking all of the Quilt Angels and supporters.


If you make quilts and can donate one for this great cause, we would love for you to participate this year. The call will go out on my blog later in the year but you can start now.
http://blog.geneblack.com/p/quilt-angels.html

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Up too Early

For some reason I am up waaay too early this morning.  So I did a little playing with Electric Quilt 7.
Here are two similar quilts I designed.

The way I did this makes a 44" square quilt. I like the brightness of the bottom one, but the other is more pleasing to me design-wise.  I think it makes my eye move around the design more.

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Breaking a Vow - Quilting

How do you feel about breaking vows?  This is not a sacred vow. No, this is a vow that I made to myself.  You see a few years ago, I participated in a mystery quilt along.   Near the end, the designer said something like "Oops, my pattern doesn't work. You need to rip out parts"  ARRRGH.  At that point I promised myself "no more mystery quilts."
Famous last words!

Today I started - albeit late - on a mystery quilt.  Since the first clue had been taken down already, a friend kindly sent it to me.  Now I have this interesting "quilt mess" on my sewing table.
We are sewing LOTS of 2 1/2" squares into 8 by 8 grids. I am cheating a bit by sewing some of mine as groups of  2 1/2" strips that I then cut into 2 1/2" sections. My quarter inch seam has "rusted" while I have been weaving and doing improvisational quilt piecing.  Some of my intersections are nice and some -- well not so nice.

I will leave them as is - just so the bigger block is the correct size.  I am not about "perfection" in quilting. Done is better than perfect!
This is allowing me to use up some scraps and random fat quarters that I have collected. I also had a 2 1/2" mini charm pack that I got as a "Deal of the Day" from Missouri Star Quilt Company- in it goes too!

In a few days I will be reviewing a new book by Christina Cameli.
If you find yourself quilting the same design all the time, this may be a way to "cure" that illness.  I need to do some FMQ with patterns from the book.  But I can tell you already that I find it inspiring.


My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weaving the Warp I Made

I showed the "tangled" threads in the last post.  It was the warp I made at my weaving class.  Someone mentioned that a lot of what I said was "weaving language."  So let me give some definitions.
Warp - the threads that form the basis of the fabric.  The selvedge of fabric is along the warp threads. It is the lengthwise grain of the fabric.

Weft - the threads that cross the warp in an over and under pattern and create fabric as they do so. The weft is the cross grain of the fabric.

[If ever I use a term you don't understand you can either ask me or ask Google.]

When we begin weaving, we begin with a warp. One very cool feature of a Saori loom is that you can buy ready made or "prewound" warps.  But, as one progresses in weaving they often desire to make (wind) their own warps.  So I took an intensive class with an emphasis on making a warp and threading the warp on the loom.

We made three warps in the class.  Two of them we wove in the class while learning some fun weaving techniques.  The third one I brought home. Once home, I decided to add more to that warp - something we had NOT learned in the class.  But I was bold and adventurous after having so much success in the class.  So I took my homemade warping frame (a device to wind the warp on) and wound on 50 more threads in purple and cream.
I had wonderful success in getting it on the loom. (Yaaay!)
There were no significant tangled areas and it went on smoothly as you can see in the picture.
I actually managed to wait until later in the day to start weaving it.  But weave on it, I did.  It is now more than 2/3rds finished
I don't know what the fabric will become as one of the tenets of Saori is to "weave without intentions."  The joy is in the process for the moment. As we say, "The cloth will tell me what it wants to become."



My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tangled Threads- Well not really

I spent the last three days taking an intensive weaving class at Handen Studios Saori.  We concentrated on learning to wind and thread on the warps.   I will confess that I had done this a couple of times and my biggest fear was that it would just be a lot of Tangled Threads, and my loom would still be empty.

I know, I know.  You are thinking "but you weave all the time and you did a video on warping" - True -but it is different on the rigid heddle loom when I do a direct warp - there is no warping board involved.  And on my Saori floor loom, there are premade warps that you can buy.  I have used premade warps for it.

So, in the class we did short narrow warps that we then wove off.  Here is the first one I made and wove.
We also learned to not dismiss colors because we don't like them.  While I have learned to like green, the "green gold" on the left side of this one was a color I didn't like at all.  So it was one of my requirements for this warp.  Guess what. now I will easily use that color.  It really sings with the peacock blue. 

We also learned to use the Saori warping tools correctly. In the picture below I am sitting at a table putting my warp through the reed of my loom. My classmate has her warp through the reed and is pulling it through the heddles.  This is SO much easier than doing it on the loom.  As far as I know, the Saori loom is the only floor loom that you can do this on. It is a real back saver. 


I also made a warp with "nubby yarns."  Those are more difficult to wind on the loom but I did it easily.
I used the green gold again just to cement the idea in my mind that all colors have a use.
During the process of weaving off these warps we also learned some fun weaving options. I have some great ideas to try.

Finally we made a warp to take home with us.  We had the option of threading it on our reed and heddles to carry home, but we all chose the "brave or crazy" option of tying up the warp to put on at home.  Here is the last warp I made.
I used three greens, a yellow/orange, and a salmon/pink.  Not colors I would normally choose, but I loved the combination once I had them 'tangled" together.

So if you missed me a bit, that is what I was doing.  I had no time to comment or even read other blogs.
I am going to close by sharing the "slogans" of the Saori Philosophy.
1) Consider the differences between a machine and a human being.
2) Be bold and adventurous
3) Let’s look out through eyes that shine. 
4) Inspire one another, and everyone in the group. 
My interpretation:
1) Don't try to make "perfection" - a machine can do that. Show your creative side and use mistakes as part of the design.
2) Just go for it.
3) Create happily and see the "mistakes" as four leaf clovers
4) --well just what it says--  Don't be afraid to be a Pollyanna - it is much better than a  "Debbie Downer."


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My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.